Configuring Light to host next ESRC seminar ‘Light Methodologies’ on 3 March 2016, 1–5pm, at LSE


If you would like to attend this seminar, please email configuringlight@lse.ac.uk to confirm your place.
The sixth Configuring Light ESRC Seminar will take place on 3 March (1-5pm) at LSE (Graham Wallas Room, Old Building). The theme is ‘Light Methodologies’ and the aim is to explore new, innovative methodological tools and strategies for understanding light, the social and the built environment.

With research on light and lighting tending towards ‘hard’ sciences (circadian rhythms and measurements of well-being, for example) we want to explore the basis for a social science knowledge of urban space that can address the complexities of social spaces. To assert social and cultural knowledge it is important to develop a range of appropriate methodological tools. Since light is ubiquitous and taken-for-granted, it demands creative and innovative methodologies that can capture everyday practices, meanings and assumptions around light. We pose the following questions: what can urban lighting learn from innovative social research and what can social research learn from studying urban infrastructure?

How do we study light in public space? What are the appropriate methodological tools to examine the ways in which we experience, interact and navigate physical spaces of the public realm? Both lighting and social research are going through considerable innovations at the moment. ‘Smart’ cities are one example of how new urban data flows from infrastructural sources are generating new forms of social knowledge that demand more careful methodological tools and analysis. Although some of our speakers’ research directly on light, the two panels also draw on a range of expertise across different disciplinary backgrounds (sociology, geography and design) and expertise with the aim of inviting a broad discussion that is both multi- and interdisciplinary in scope. Confirmed speakers include Tim Edensor, Manchester Metropolitan University, David Moats, Goldsmiths College, Kim Kullman, Goldsmiths College and Alex Wilkie, Goldsmiths College.